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Minister of Health Armen Muradyan Holds Public Seminar at AUA on Armenia’s Health Challenges and Successes

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On August 28, 2015, the American University of Armenia (AUA) School of Public Health hosted a public health seminar where Minister of Health Armen Muradyan discussed current health challenges and successes in Armenia. The Minister’s presentation was preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Health and AUA on behalf of its School of Public Health. The MoU serves to formalize the close collaboration between the two institutions toward improving public health in Armenia. This collaboration started 20 years ago with the school’s founding and has strengthened in recent years.

After the MoU signing, AUA President Armen Der Kiureghian announced that the Minister of Health Muradyan has accepted an invitation to serve as an honorary member of the AUA School of Public Health Advisory Board. The Minister remarked that he will proudly bear the title, emphasizing that AUA has made an invaluable contribution to educating quality public health professionals, healthcare managers, and researchers, noting: “For many years this university formed a large group of public health professionals, and our health system dearly needs them. We thank the university for this great job and we see the public health graduates as an anchor in implementation of healthcare projects and evaluating those efforts.”  He added that AUA’s work meets internationally accepted standards, and the Ministry of Health would like to implement new public health projects after gathering expert opinion from these kind of professionals.

Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, the Dean of the AUA School of Public Health boasted, “We are honored to host the Minister of Health Professor Armen Muradyan. This unique opportunity to hear about Armenia’s health challenges directly from the Minister of Health inspires us and guides us in our mission to improve population health in Armenia and the region.”  She added, “Our mission is inherently one grounded in collaboration with many local and international organizations/agencies, with the Ministry of Health foremost among them.”

Minister Muradyan provided a packed audience consisting of public health and medical professionals, AUA students, graduates, faculty and researchers, a comprehensive overview of the Armenian health system’s performance, detailing health and demographic indicators, targeting current challenges, and sharing success stories.  He also previewed several new health initiatives. Professor Muradyan stressed that the Ministry of Health has increasingly emphasized a “building/generating health” principle over the “treating patients” approach. He also stressed that the Ministry’s priority is promoting and restoring health, not just for the sake of an individual but for the sake of society as a whole, noting: “Public health programs are very important for us, given that we see the role of public health as the most cost-effective tool for the long term development of the healthcare system.”

Key touchpoint in the Minister’s talk related to lifestyle (e.g., obesity, smoking, and excessive use of salt), quality of care/patient safety, and improved access to preventive and curative care.  In his concluding remarks the Minister Muradyan stated, “It is impossible to deny the challenges we face in the health system, but we try to develop and implement new projects, guidelines, and methods that would help to address these issues.”  At the same time, he highlighted the importance of maintaining optimism and courage in the face of the challenges, assuring that the Ministry of Health is committed to constructive collaboration in its efforts to generate, maintain, and restore health.

Before his appointment as the Minister of Health, Professor Muradyan was the Executive Director of Izmirlian Medical Center. In 2008-2012, he was the First Deputy Director of the National Oncology Center after Fanarjyan. In 2003-2011, he was a Professor and the Founding Chair of the Urology Department at Yerevan State Medical University. In 2001-2008, Professor Muradyan worked and later led the Urology Clinic of Armenia Medical Center. He also held positions of the Advisor to the Minister of Health (2004-2006), the Chief Urologist of Armenia (2006-2014), and the President of the Association of Armenian Urologists (2009-2013). Professor Muradyan earned his Medical Doctor (MD) degree in 1995, finished his medical residency program in urology in 1998, and completed post-graduate education (aspirantura) in 2000 at Yerevan State Medical University. He became a Doctor of Medical Sciences in 2005. Professor Muradyan completed post-graduate courses in the American University of Armenia on Healthcare Management and Organization and InDevelop Uppsala AB in Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Muradyan has authored two monographs and more than 70 scientific works.

The AUA School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.

 

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